Bethlehem (Pa.) Liberty linebacker Brendan Beal is closing in on a decision. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder, ranked as the No. 2 inside linebacker in the country, recently took his last unofficial visit and hopes to make a decision in September.
"I went down to Florida for a day with my dad and checked things out," said Beal, who lists the Gators along with Southern Cal as his top two teams. "I was there for a night practice and it was great to see how they work everything. Gainesville is cool because it's such a college town.
"I got to speak to coach Meyer and Strong and see how the work their linebackers. I spoke with Brandon Spikes, Justin Trattou, Aaron Hernandez, Duke Lemmens and some other guys. They all love it down there. Trattou had a smile on his face the whole time so that's good to see that a Jersey kid isn't out of place down there."
Beal also got to sit in on a linebacker meeting with Charlie Strong and his group.
"It was interesting," he said. "What Florida is looking for is a leader at the linebacker position and they think I can be that guy. They like my intensity and work ethic and want me to become a leader down there."
Beal has been to Florida twice now and has visited Southern Cal once. He has official visits with both schools set for September but won't be taking them. Following his first official visit, to Boston College on Sept. 7, he hopes to make a decision.
"Right now it's still Southern Cal and Florida on top but I want to see BC and give them a chance," he said. "My dad played there and it's a great school. I'm going to the right game too because they're playing NC State and coach O'Brien so the intensity should be good. I really want to give them a good look and experience everything."
Beal will likely announce his decision the week after his BC visit on ESPNU. Right now he's not sure where he wants to go.
"Both places have everything," he said of Florida and Southern Cal. "And who knows, maybe I'll be blown away by BC and feel at home there. I'm taking my time to make sure I get this right."